World War II, Bobby Squires
Aubrey Henry Charles “Bobby” Squires, of Marshall, was born in England, but grew up in Ireland.
He was 14 when he left school and went to work with horses. He became a jockey and was 17 when he won his first race as an amateur.
He was drafted in 1942 and assigned to the Royal Army.
He was a ‘batman,’ an orderly for Maj. Edwards. He looked after the officer’s uniforms and served him tea.
Mr. Squires avoided promotions — he was discharged as a private — because he thought higher-ranking officers faced more danger in battle. He participated in the D-Day invasion at Normandy and saw heavy combat in France.
The 8th Army was coming out of Allemagne, Germany, and they wished his group luck. The next day, he was participating in the landing at Normandy. “We didn’t know we were going to be a part of the landing until we were placed on the boat. I served in the infantry,” said Mr. Squires.
During a “normal” day in battle, the British would gain five miles and the enemy would push them back five miles. Mr. Squires carried a .303-caliber rifle and a hand grenade. He would pull the plug with his teeth. “We were told to look where we threw it, but I never looked. I ducked,” said Mr. Squires.
His rifle was fitted with two bayonets.
“In man-to-man combat, it was scary. I didn’t want to die. During training we were taught how to kill and attack,” said Mr. Squires.
“With our rifles we were taught how to stick our bayonets in the Germans, turn them to the right, put our foot on the man and then pull the bayonet out. We didn’t like to do that, but we were frightened. We had to do it for our survival.”
Mr. Squires slept in trenches. “If we wanted to move, we picked up a tin hat and waved it. If the Germans fired at it, we knew they were next door. Night patrol was worse. If we went out with six men, we were lucky to come back with four. The Germans were clever, because they had booby traps everywhere,” said Mr. Squires.
He fought in several battles throughout Europe, but Falaise Gap in France was the toughest in which he fought. He lost a lot of friends, including his best friend there.
One night the fellow who slept next to him said he was going to go home to check on his family and wanted Mr. Squires to cover for him. Mr. Squires told him he needed to be back by roll call at 6 a.m. “In the middle of the night, I felt a draft. I woke up and discovered a piece of shrapnel fell between me and him. It landed on his bed. Had he been there, he would have been killed,” said Mr. Squires.
He was with the Royal Ordnance Army until he joined the 21st Army in Belgium.
Both of his parents died when he was serving in the war. He found out through a letter from his sister, Edith. She wrote to the war office and asked where Mr. Squires was. They sent a telegram back to her stating he was either dead or missing.
One day when Mr. Squires was on the front lines, the Germans came into view.
They dropped their rifles and they said, “No fire! No fire! The war is over!” The British and Americans dropped their guns and the Germans came over and helped.
After he got out of the Army, he returned to horse racing. He later moved to Florida to work on a horse track and then became an assistant trainer in Kentucky. He left there to work with Morgan horses before he retired.
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